Turmeric is a pretty unknown herb here in Belgium, it’s difficult to find and that’s pretty sad. Forget about granola, turmeric is the king of superfoods. They discovered over 600 health benefits of Turmeric and the number is getting bigger and bigger.
I’m not going to give you all of the 600 benefits, that would be a little overkill.
Turmeric can replace multiple drugs like:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Anti-depressants (Prozac)
- Anti-coagulants (Aspirin)
- Diabetes drugs (Metformin)
- Arthritis medications
- Inflammatory bowel disease drugs
- Cholesterol drugs (Lipitor)
Turmeric find it’s origin in India
Turmeric has been consumed for quite some time in India. They use it to give taste to food but also as a healing agent. Turmeric is a plant that’s part of the ginger family. It gives the yellow color to curry powder.
I noticed that the benefits are less known in Western society.
They use pretty high amounts of Turmeric in the researches that I found, 500 mg to 4 grams to be exact. In order to get these amounts, you should supplement with it.
Some benefits of turmeric
Turmeric is anti-inflammatory and a natural painkiller
This is the most important aspect of the plant. It’s almost as effective as the anti-inflammatories. So opting for a natural medicine instead of a chemical one seems like the right solution.
People are taking anti-inflammatories like it’s candy and that’s not the right attitude. It’s even dangerous according to some people. Your body needs rest and not some pill to be able to perform with pain. You’ll get a setback after a while.
A journal called Oncogene published the result of a study that compared anti-inflammatory compounds. They found that the pills were the least effective while curcumin (a compound of turmeric) was one of the most effective compounds in the world.
This is some big-time news but I guess you’ve never heard this news. This is something that everybody should know but I can make a slight guess on why this news didn’t reach us.
Inflammation puts people at risks for almost every disease process known to man. Examples of these diseases are cancer, arthritis, high cholesterol, chronic pain,
Turmeric has anti-cancer effects
Inflammation is an essential factor when it comes to tumor growth. Research has shown that curcumin can kill human cancer cells of chest, pancreas, stomach, colon cancer and esophageal cancer. (study, study, study)
Turmeric lowers cholesterol
It’s important to keep your cholesterol levels in check to avoid heart problems. It has been shown that turmeric lowers total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels.
I’ll go more into depth about this part when I’ll talk about turmeric and testosterone.
Turmeric lowers the risk of a heart attack
Heart attacks are one of the most common sudden deaths these days. Our overstressed lifestyle full of junk food and non- activity does us more harm than good. Yes, stress is really a silent and neglected killer.
Supplementing with curcumin lowers the risk of a heart attack after you’ve had a bypass surgery. The study found out that the risk dropped with 65% after taking 4 days of turmeric a day.
Note that the risk won’t be much lower if still eat crap and live a stressful life. You need to take care of yourself before it’s too late.
Turmeric boosts your immune system
Turmeric will aid your immune system so you’ll have fewer infections in the body. It helps in producing cAMP, a protein that essential for the immune system. Cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide or cAMP for the friends will help your immune system fight off various bacteria, viruses or fungi. Even when these haven’t been encountered yet.
A study conducted in Chunxiao Gua looked at the potential of both curcumin and omega-3 fatty acids to increase expression of the cAMP gene. Omega-3 fatty acids had no effect for this purpose but curcumin had a big effect. Curcumin tripled the cAMP levels.
Turmeric and your testosterone levels
Turmeric is a natural estrogen blocker so it can help you get rid of high estrogen levels and it can help you get rid of man boobs. Research even made the comparison with the estrogen-lowering drug tamoxifen. It turned out that turmeric was just as effective as the drug. So we’ve got a non- prescription natural herb with the same benefits of a prescription drug. Pick the natural herb since it has more benefits than the prescription drug
The anti-inflammatory benefit seems to be good for testosterone production as well. The Leydig cells, which are located in the testes, can be negatively influenced by the inflammation and reduce the testosterone levels. Turmeric can increase your testosterone by decreasing the inflammation.
Research has found a link between testosterone and insulin resistance. Turmeric can increase insulin sensitivity and furthermore increase testosterone production.
Turmeric also improves liver function and this is extremely important for lowering your estrogen levels. The liver deactivates 50% of your estrogen so an inefficient liver will result in higher estrogen levels.
Turmeric increases HDL aka “the good cholesterol”
Scientist wanted to examine the effect of curcumin on cholesterol. This study was conducted in 1992 so it was before the whole cholesterol hype and cholesterol-lowering statin drugs.
They gave 500 mg for a period of 7 days to healthy individuals. After this brief period, they noticed that the HDL levels had increased and the total cholesterol levels had decreased.
So why should this be good? HDL leads to the production of testosterone so you better keep this in check. The correlation between HDL and testosterone was found in a study that was conducted in 1991.
Apparently, it really went downhill after the 90’s even in the scientific field.
Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant
So we already know that oxidative stress in the testicular cells can cause a drop in the testosterone levels.
Antioxidants like vitamin E can slow down this process but turmeric has been shown to be almost 8 times as effective as vitamin E. So we can conclude that turmeric is an extremely powerful antioxidant. So consider consuming more antioxidants because they reduce the levels of oxidative stress and therefore can help increase the testosterone levels in the body.
I found a recent study to back this up. The research took place in 2014 and has some interesting findings.
The study used four groups of rats who all got an antioxidant. They gave them Gallic acid, curcumin, curcumin, and Gallic acid and a placebo.
Gallic acid can be found in green tea and tea leaves in general. Green tea has the highest levels of Gallic acid in comparison to other teas. You’ll notice that you shouldn’t drink too much of it after I share the conclusions. But there’s also a solution to the problem.
The Gallic acid group had a drop of 30% in their testosterone levels and they showed a drop in antioxidant molecules in the testes.
The curcumin group had an increase in testosterone. Their levels were 260% higher than the control group.
The group who consumed the mix had higher testosterone levels than the control group but they were only 180% higher. This proves that curcumin is a really powerful antioxidant even when it’s consumed with something that lowers your testosterone like Gallic acid. So consume some turmeric if you’re a heavy tea drinker. I’m a big believer of moderation and I drink it sometimes to switch things up.
All the groups who took curcumin showed to have lower oxidative stress.
Notes before you buy turmeric
Buy the organic powder form because the other forms are polluted.
You can also take a supplement to get higher doses. Buy the supplement version here.
It’s interesting that turmeric will be better absorbed when you consume it with piperine. The increase in bioavailability was 2000%. So you can add black pepper to your food or just take the supplement form.
I really can’t find a reason why you shouldn’t take it. But you should check out this blog about the health benefits of Tumeric for sure! They did a great job of giving you an in-depth article on why you should take turmeric (read it here).
Thursday I’ll share some of my ways to recover faster from injuries or after a workout.
Till next time